Overseas Vietnamese student in Australia promotes Vietnamese traditional long dress around the world

Vietnam's traditional long dress (ao dai) is graceful in the breeze beside the Eiffel Tower, bashful beside yellow autumn foliage in the Republic of Korea or charming in the country of the kangaroo, through the project named "Aodai around the world" of Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy.

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Thu Thuy in ao dai in Ho Chi Minh city

Thu Thuy is a freshman studying hotel and restaurant management and tourism at William Angliss Institute, Melbourne, Australia. She used to work as as a Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the Ho Chi Minh city Television Station (HTV). Always keen on ao dai, Thuy never forgets to bring hers along for her trips to take photograph. When arriving in Australia to study, her habit didn't change. So, the idea of establishing the project "Aodai around the world" was born.

"You can easily see ao dai on streets, or even see it each day. Ao dai can be worn in many different styles, from casual to chic, or from daily travel to major events in life. The feature of the ao dai is that it is for everyone. That's a beauty that few types of costumes have. When I asked international friends what they know about Vietnam, many answers were given. But three things in common are war, rice noodle (Pho) and ao dai. Thus, ao dai can be seen as part of our identity, part of where we come from," Thuy said.

With the help of her older sister, who is a radio editor in Australia, and her older brother, a software engineer, Thuy has realized her idea. Initially, it was just a small project on facebook. There, she posted photos of girls taken with ao dai in many places. More and more people sent photos with ao dai in many places, so, Thuy established a website at aodaiaroundtheworld.com. The website has been completed thanks to contributions of the community.

The website has an interactive map. People will post their photos and share stories/memories. All places people take photograph and check-in will be displayed on the map. Therefore, looking at the map, we can see that where ao dai has appeared in the world map.

"My biggest target in the coming time is to spread love of ao dai to everyone as well as show that ao dai has traveled to many remote places," she said.

On the occasion of the Lunar New Year of the Monkey, Thuy returned to Ho Chi Minh city to reunite her family. She didn't forget to bring ao dai to the motherland to complete her project on the land of Vietnam.

She also took the chance to make a clip titled "Aodai around Saigon" on this occasion to tell the story of love and dreams of spreading Vietnamese soul through ao dai by a meaningful clip.

The clip tells a story about a Saigon girl, born in the 1990s. She called the names of each street. Graduating from a university, she goes to a foreign country to study and bring her dream of promoting ao dai to around the world. On lunar December 24th, she and her ao dai, which have gone all over the world with her, return to the motherland.

"My imminent plan is to cover images of ao dai in all 63 provinces and cities of Vietnam. For this occasion, young people take many photos with ao dai so I call upon them to send photos to the website to cover all corners of Vietnam before going out to the world," Thuy said./.

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